The Togbe Kwaku Ayim Committee on the Kpando Chieftaincy Reconciliation has declared the descendants of Asianu – the Besiako Division – as the kingmakers of the Akpini State.
The Committee held that the three Akpini Divisions – Eko, Adedze, and Asianu – had historically bestowed the leadership on Asianu, saying that the decision was later reaffirmed when political authority was conferred on Dra, his grandson who had helped to stop the military invasion of the area.
The Committee, therefore, said the Besiako Division, which descended from Asianu, must continue to possess the political and spiritual leadership position of the Akpinis.
This was contained in a White Paper issued by a four-member Committee at Kpando, on Monday, which traced the history and origins of the Akpini State, in its search for a final decision and solution to the decades-long internal wrangling.
Members of the Committee are, Togbe Osei Tutu Brempong III, Paramount Chief of Wusuta Traditional Area, the Reverend Father Isaac Benuyenah, Parish Priest of St. Augustine Catholic Church, Hohoe, and Mr Daniel Benedict Kosipa-Secretary with Togbe Koku Ayim IV, Paramount Chief of Ziavi Traditional Area, as Chairman.
“It is abominably dangerous to divide the Asianu/Bisiaku Royal House into male and female compartments. Going in this direction will be suicidal to the entire Akpini State,” the Committee said.
“It was not Asianu alone who led the three divisions. The historical part of this dossier shows that Eko and his descendants can also claim ownership to the mantle of power in the Akpini State because Eko was independently in control of his own group prior to this great amalgamation and covenant at Hahonu. Adedze was an independent leader leading his own people up till this point.
“In fact, if these two leaders with their descendants should rise today to contest for the supreme position in the Akpini State, they will surely have not sold their rights to Asianu and his descendants nor were they captured in war.
“Nevertheless, these able leaders (Adedze and Eko) vowed under serious oaths to remain united and relinquish their powers to one person, Asianu.”
The Committee, set up in February 2017 by the Volta Regional House of Chiefs, condemned attempts to foster divisions between the Asianu and their offspring, saying, “whoever goes contrary to this simple norm brews confusion, distortion of chronological order and the disintegration of the Akpini State.”
It called on the descendants of Asianu to unite and establish their position as the Royal Family.
“The Committee recommends that all the descendants of Asianu should come together to form a well-knitted Akpini Royal Family,” it said.
“Failure to do this, the Committee predicts a day, when the descendants of the other two leaders, would initiate an insurgency demanding that since the disunity among the descendants of Asianu has pulled Akpini State backward for over 30 years, they would opt for a new generation of Akpini State to be headed by an amalgamated Adedze/Eko descendants-sidelining the Asianus completely,” it stated.
The Committee expressed satisfaction with the level of compliance of the Akpini State with the directives it recommended in the course of its work, and asked that the final unification rites be undertaken “without human sacrifice.”
The Committee also noted the cascading effect of the over 40-year-old dispute, and called on notable bodies within the Akpini State, including the elite groups, to help restore the dignity of Kpando.
“The Committee cannot pretend to be unmindful of the pains, the emotional trauma, the fear of ancestral curses, the psychological stress, death and near death situations, some of you went through over the years,” it said.
“To all such, this Committee says, ‘The battle is over.’ We are one Akpini State with a common destiny. We are at the crossroads of peace. Retreating into the past will throw us back into revenge and retrogression.”
The conflict has roots in the leadership crisis among the descendants of heads of three Ewe groups who had undertaken an oath-bound unification pact on the banks of River Haho, during the exodus from Notsie.
The Committee interviewed over 100 chiefs, clan leaders and elders of the Akpini State, among other stakeholders in a total of 42 sittings over a three and half year period.
As part of recommendations, all chieftaincy cases of the Akpini State in civil courts were to be withdrawn and arbitrated amicably.
The Committee also outlined some reparations over wrong turns during the strife, and called for stools to be sanctified as part of the reunification process.
Togbe Afendza III, Right Wing Chief of Akpini, said the decision would be upheld, and called for truthfulness and one accord in building the Akpini State.
Stakeholders consider the report as the blueprint to the dawn of a new era in the Akpini statehood, which would be crowned with the enstoolment of a Paramount Chief, and climaxed with the rebirth of the Dayi-Bakaka Festival.
Mr Harry Attipoe, Registrar of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs, said the conflict caused the Akpini Traditional Council, which ranked among the pioneers of the House, to be left out of its activities, because it had no Paramount Chief.
He said the Committee’s report must bring the long desired peace, and not become another forum for litigation.
Mr. Ernest Quist, Municipal Chief Executive for Kpando, said the disagreement imposed a “bad name” on the Municipality, and that Government was willing to support efforts at re-establishing the paramountcy.
The Volta Regional House of Chiefs in February 2016 set up the Togbe Kwaku Ayim Reconciliation Committee to mediate the long standing Kpando chieftaincy dispute after Togbe Afendza petitioned the House over the consistent installation of paramount chiefs and the death of Togbui Dagadu VIII in 2016.